Friday, April 22


I ran into an old friend last week.

We did that awkward, silent then weboth talkwaytoofast dance.

But in that rhythm, I learned how many classes he was taking, how many hours he was working, how much volunteering he did, and how hard he worked.  He wasn't bragging or shining his schedule; he was exhausted.  And before I knew it, my mouth was blurting out way too personal of words to share with someone I barely knew anymore.

"You're doing a great job."  I took a breath.  "You're only one person and you can only do so much.  And with all of this- you're doing wonderful."

He stood up a little straighter.  We continued talking for a minute and half-waved goodbyes as we headed in opposite directions.  But something about that stuck with me.

We are just people.  We have triumphs and we make mistakes.

Sometimes it feels like I wake up with the world on my shoulders.

As a student, some days it feels like the very best I can do is hold my arms up and try to keep the sky from falling.  I know at some point you've felt like that, too.

I wonder how many things go unspoken.

We go to class and fight life head on and read our newspapers alone and
I wonder how often we're exhausted from words that haven't been said.

Sometimes I wonder if we settle for surviving-

flitting from experience to experience holding onto that one compliment.  That one time somebody says "thank you."  That extra-hug.  That "I'm proud of you."  We savor small drops of encouragement and little leaky faucet spurts of inspiration with closed hands and tight fists...because sometimes we don't know when they'll come next.

The truth is:
I am the woman at the well.

All of my energy and my strength shrivel and wilt.
When I look to myself for encouragement, optimism, strength, and grace-
my wells are bone dry.  I draw and draw and desperately draw

and I'll
come up empty

But when I run after God
I find

And so I invite you to stand knee deep in the river with me.
Open your palms and see if you can try and catch all the water that rushes through your fingertips.

You are only one person.  You can't do everything.  But you can do something wonderful.

Your story matters more than you may ever know.  You are loved and precious.

Maybe your calendar is full.

Your heart is overwhelmed.

Your life feels stuck.

Your dreams feel far away.

God feels far away.

Your well


dust dry.

Wrap your fingers through mine

and we'll run towards grace together.

Maybe you haven't been told it lately


I think you're doing a great job.


Charissa Steyn said...

sweet post. encouragement works wonder for our souls!

Elizabeth said...

Thanks, Charissa! I believe it. Also- I loved your Five Minute Friday post about being a child at heart. I might have to get in on that this week.